advertisement
advertisement

Living With and Recovering From Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

online conference transcript

Melissa Ford Thornton, author of "Eclipses: Behind The Borderline Personality Disorder, joined us to discuss what life is like with Borderline Personality Disorder. She discussed her suicide attempts, self-injury, fears of abandonment, hospitalization, and progress with Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). She also answered many audience questions regarding relationships, medications, and wanting to die but finding the will to live.

David: HealthyPlace.com moderator.

The people in blue are audience members.


David: Good Evening. I'm David Roberts. I'm the moderator for tonight's conference. I want to welcome everyone to HealthyPlace.com. Our topic tonight is "Living With and Recovering From Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)." Our guest is Melissa Ford Thornton, author of "Eclipses: Behind The Borderline Personality Disorder."

For many years, Ms. Thornton suffered tremendous pain because of Borderline Personality Disorder. She describes it as like "living in hell." Although there are still many therapists today who feel that BPD is untreatable or too difficult to treat, Ms. Thornton is living proof that it is possible. She details her life with BPD and recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder in "Eclipses: Behind The Borderline Personality Disorder." You can purchase her book by clicking on the link.

Good evening, Melissa and welcome to HealthyPlace.com. You say life was like a living hell with BPD. Why? What were you feeling? What was life like for you?

Melissa Thornton: Hello to you and our audience. I was first diagnosed with anorexia and had difficulty not dissociating - that is losing my consciousness of being in my own body. It was as if I were watching my life from above with no participation in events, including starvation and cutting behaviors.

David: And you were how old at that time?

Melissa Thornton: I was 29 - perhaps significant.

David: Why do you say that is significant?

Melissa Thornton: I was preparing to enter my thirties and I wanted children with my husband as well as the public relations/writing career I had at that time. Decade transitions can be quite difficult for many people.

David: Prior to that time, had you suffered any sort of mental illness?

Melissa Thornton: I believe, as does my psychiatrist of more than a decade, that I have been emotionally vulnerable and sensitive and had glimpses of childhood molestation, beginning as far back as 17 years of age.

David: For those in the audience who want to know what Borderline Personality Disorder is, please click on the link for a full description.

And so you started dissociating and became involved with anorexia. This must have been scary for you.

Melissa Thornton: Yes. It was terrifying. Since I had not recognized the earlier, overt signs that could lead to this mental disorder I certainly felt alone and that was "hellish" for me.

David: For those people who aren't intimately familiar with Borderline Personality Disorder, can you please describe what kind of behaviors you were involved in and the kinds of feelings you were experiencing?

Melissa Thornton: The formal physicians' diagnostic criteria lists at least five of nine symptom categories for BPD to become a diagnosis. I didn't know this and saw all nine and was afraid I would develop what I didn't already have. As nearly as I can recall, I was very depressed, had low self esteem - sometimes none. I was perfectionistic. I was over-spending (on clothing mostly). I was intensely suicidal with several parasuicidal episodes. I wanted to die. My mother had committed suicide several years before. No one explained that you can recover or live productively with a mental illness or disorder, so I just wanted to save my family from another round of hope and heartbreak.

David: By the way, what year was this when the BPD symptoms started to appear (when you were 29)? And how old are you now?

Melissa Thornton: Ah, you admitted it. I thought you were trying to reveal my real-time age! It began in 1991. I turned 38 in June, 2000.

David: So, it wasn't that long ago. And you were already married at that time. How did your husband react to this?

Melissa Thornton: It wasn't that long ago, and I do have bouts with Borderline maladaptive behaviors to this day. My husband is one strong soul-mate. He has stood by my side every step of the way. I think, emotionally, this has affected him as much or even harder (when I was dissociative or on heavy doses of medication) than it has me.

David: Melissa, let's get to a couple of audience questions, and then we'll talk about your recovery and experiences with DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy). Here's the first question:


advertisement

Last Updated: 11 April 2017
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

Related Articles

Support Group

Log in

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me

Create an account

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Name *
Username *
Password *
Verify password *
Email *
Verify email *
advertisement

Follow Us

Personality Disorders Videos

Mental Health Newsletter

Sign up for the HealthyPlace mental health newsletter for latest news, articles, events.

Mental Health
Newsletter Subscribe Now!

Mental Health Newsletter

Sign up for the HealthyPlace mental health newsletter for latest news, articles, events.

Log in

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me
advertisement
X
advertisement
X
advertisement
X
Back To Top